Welcome to the spring semester

Dear students, faculty and staff,

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a safe and relaxing break and found time to recharge for the spring semester.

We should all be proud of what we have achieved, as our students, faculty and staff have adapted their learning and teaching to be able to deliver the best academic outcomes in a safe environment.

We are beginning this spring semester with online instruction only, with limited exceptions applied for clinical activities in the health sciences. As planned, we expect that we will be able to move some classes to campus when reduced COVID-19 activity and city and state guidelines allow it. Additional information will be provided as the conditions change.

With vaccines being provided across the state and the nation, there is hope that this will be the last semester of the pandemic. UI Health has moved quickly during the first phase of vaccinations and has so far administered over 5,000 doses to clinical staff, as well as health science faculty and students. We expect that within days we will be entering the next phase of vaccine distribution, which includes vulnerable patients and essential workers, such as those in the educational sector. Later this week, you will receive additional information from our UI Health experts outlining the process that will be followed with the UIC community.

Although the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, they may not protect against asymptomatic transmission. Therefore, everyone must continue to wear face coverings as required on campus, wash hands/sanitize often, practice social distancing and stay home if they have any potential COVID-19 symptoms.

We have also increased significantly our saliva testing capacity for UIC students and employees in anticipation of having more people on campus, and we have established a new process for receiving testing results. We strongly encourage all UIC students and employees to be regularly tested on-campus by scheduling appointments online in advance. At this point, mandatory saliva-based testing is limited to only some designated groups of students and employees. However, we expect that mandatory testing will be extended to the entire campus community, as we bring more students, faculty and staff back. For more information about changes regarding saliva testing reporting, as well as the UIC Healthcheck and a new UIC Daily Pass badge, please visit today.uic.edu/covid-19-saliva-testing.

Thank you for continuing to adhere to prevention measures that keep our campus, our community and those around you safe. I am very hopeful that the tremendous contributions of the scientific community over the last 12 months will soon lead to the end of the pandemic and will bring us back together again this year.

Best wishes for a safe and successful spring semester!

Michael D. Amiridis
Chancellor

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